Wild Moccasins' Dreamy 'Longtime Listener' Measures The Distance Between Lovers

May 31, 2018

Long distance is a drag, but we sure do get some aching love songs out of it: Karen O Yeah ties new places to new starts in Yeah Yeah Yeahs' vaguely hopeful "Maps;" George Strait holds onto love for strength in "Carrying Your Love With Me;" Mariah Carey won't hesitate "Whenever You Call." But what if it doesn't matter whether you're just steps or 3,000 miles away? The distance between hearts can be an emotional chasm.

Wild Moccasins looks to the glamour and wide-eyed sincerity of new wave to make wildly charming pop music that examines our flaws and triumphs with shimmering guitars and pulsing synths. The Houston band's new album, Look Together, comes after the dissolution of a decade-long romantic relationship between primary songwriters Zahira Gutierrez and Cody Swann, who still play in Wild Moccasins together. In part, the album raises questions about "what society says what we can and can't do in love," Gutierrez recently told Rookie.

"Longtime Listener," premiering here with a video drowning in blue and white telephones, chronicles a new relationship for Gutierrez, but one marked by long distance, she tells NPR Music:

As I was writing this song, I wanted it to read as if I was having a straightforward conversation with someone very close to me — no fluff at all, just pure honesty.

While I did write the song about my current partner moving away and about the literal distance between us, the song also symbolizes the figurative distance that can form between partners in the same room. As I became more immersed in the process of making this record, it became harder and harder for me to stay up late to make the obligatory "How are you?" phone call. Throughout the whole process, I dwelled over the luck and timing of it all, but the relationship with myself grew stronger and I learned to have faith in fate.

This is the kind of pop song made for crying on the dance floor, tears smeared into glittery eye shadow. But embedded in its swirling desperation is a growth that comes from hard love.


Look Together comes out June 29 via New West Records.

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